PRO 14 final headed for Glasgow and Celtic Park
Following the EPCR's decision to bring rugby to newer destinations like Bilbao and Newcastle, the PRO 14 have followed suit, confirming that next season's final would be played at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
First speculated in May, the decision to bring the season finale to the football stadium on May 25th was made official today.
It's the first time the game has been played at a non-traditional rugby venue but Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby says it could be a perfect fit.
"Bringing our Final to a world-famous stadium like Celtic Park is a truly historic step in the evolution of the Guinness PRO14. Since introducing Destination Final venues in 2015 we have seen the event thrive by making it about fans of rugby and not just the supporters of the two teams competing for the trophy.
"The bid put forward by Scottish Rugby, Celtic FC and the City of Glasgow was compelling from the very beginning and we’re certain that fans across the Guinness PRO14 will share in our excitement. Glasgow has so much to offer in terms of hospitality, culture and heritage and like our previous Finals in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast we can offer fans so much more than just a rugby experience.
"In the past number of seasons we have made many bold decisions which have transformed the Guinness PRO14 for the better and the choice of Celtic Park as the venue for the 2019 Final is yet another signal of our ambition to provide the best club rugby tournament possible for our clubs and our fans."
The 60,000 venue would easily be able to break the attendance record for the game if the demand is there, with each of the last three finals breaking the previous record. 46,092 punters came through the gates for Leinster's defeat of the Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium in May.
Peter Lawwell, CEO of Celtic, says they're determined to make the game a success.
"We are very proud that the Guinness PRO14 Final is coming to Celtic Park for what we’re sure will be a fabulous occasion for the city of Glasgow, rugby supporters and for Celtic.
"Celtic Park is a world-class venue and our success of hosting events in the 2014 Commonwealth games and on Champions League nights where we have welcomed some of the biggest names in world football, proves that the stadium can produce unforgettable experiences time after time.
"We look forward to welcoming rugby fans from far and wide to Paradise on May 25 to share in the atmosphere of Celtic Park, we are sure it is an experience they will enjoy immensely."